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Middle English quashen, quaschen, cwessen, quassen, from Old French quasser, from Latin quassāre, present active infinitive of quassō, under the influence of cassō (I annul), from Latin quatiō (I shake), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷeh₁t- (to shake) (same root for the English words: pasta, paste, pastiche, pastry). Cognate with Spanish quejar (to complain).



quash (third-person singular simple present quashes, present participle quashing, simple past and past participle quashed)

  1. To defeat forcibly.
    The army quashed the rebellion.
    • Barrow
      Contrition is apt to quash or allay all worldly grief.
    • 2014 November 17, Roger Cohen, “The horror! The horror! The trauma of ISIS [print version: International New York Times, 18 November 2014, p. 9]”, in The New York Times[1]:
      What is unbearable, in fact, is the feeling, 13 years after 9/11, that America has been chasing its tail; that, in some whack-a-mole horror show, the quashing of a jihadi enclave here only spurs the sprouting of another there; that the ideology of Al Qaeda is still reverberating through a blocked Arab world whose Sunni-Shia balance (insofar as that went) was upended by the American invasion of Iraq.
  2. To crush or dash to pieces.
    • Waller
      The whales / Against sharp rocks, like reeling vessels, quashed, / Though huge as mountains, are in pieces dashed.
  3. (law) To void or suppress (a subpoena, decision, etc.).

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